This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.
Bug have been used to scare me, lol. Yes, my oldest daughter Catie loves bugs, she things they are cute and cuddly. Okay, maybe not that far, but she does understand that all bugs have a purpose. Rather than letting mom smash that spider, she will kindly take it outside, and tell me the reason for its existence. I honestly thought she would grow out of it. I was wrong she is 15 years old and still feels the same way about bugs. I recently showed Catie the Orkin Ecologist website, and she thought that was the coolest website ever. It made her happy to see that there are other people who care about bugs, or more importantly study them so we know what to expect from bugs. I originally asked Catie if she wanted to help me with a buggy project, but she insisted that I use her two younger sisters Vayda and Mattie. She wants them to learn more about bugs, and why they are important to us. In hopes they will stop picking on her about protecting everything from spiders to moths.
Halloween EKK-Ology: Paper Mache Bee or Paper Mache Spider
Vayda and Mattie were super excited to have some fun, as long as it was not real bugs we would be playing with. They each picked a bug that they wanted to learn about, and to my surprise they both decided on the bug that scared them. Mattie is deathly afraid of bees of any kind, so we decided on a honey bee. Vayda decided on the creepy crawly black widow, since it’s almost Halloween and she loves those darn plastic spider rings. Vayda had been bugging me about trying a Paper Mache Craft, since Catie brought home a cool lamp type thing. We decided on a Paper Mache Craft. I was pretty excited to make a Paper Mache Bee and a Paper Mache Spider with my kids. Before we started we need to take a look at The Orkin Ecologist so the girls knew how they would paint their paper mache craft.
Before we could get started on the paper mache bee and spider we had to get everything ready. Mattie grabbed the bowl, Vayda got everything set up nice and neat, and both the girls began tearing the newspaper.
Next we dipped the torn newspaper into a glue and water mixture. To do this we mixed half water and half glue together, dipped each piece of newspaper into the mixture, and stuck them on the balloon piece by piece. We completed about 4 layers. The girls were super excited to start painting, and were pretty bummed when I told them we had to wait for the paper mache on our balloons to dry. So Vayda offered to speed up the process, and held both balloons in front of a fan. Which worked wonderfully, rather than waiting for several hours she only had to hold them for about an hour, lol. She is such a trooper!
Let he fun begin! Since mom totally forgot to purchase paint brushes guess what? The kids had to use their fingers. I know they were really upset about it, lol. They had a blast painting their bugs with paint. I helped Mattie put the black strip on her paper mache honey bee, and she did most of the yellow. I didn’t realize that we would need so much yellow. Next time I will know we need to double up on the yellow so we cannot see any of the newspaper. Vayda covered hers in black, which covered very nice, and then made the red hourglass figure on her paper mache black widow spider.
All three of us went to the The Orkin Ecologist website to begin our research on the honey bee and black widow spider. We also made little signs with what the girls learned about each of their bugs. There is Vayda holding up a little sign she wanted me to make, because she really enjoyed her visit at ecologist.com, and she wanted to share it with all of you.
For Vayda’s paper mache black widow spider we added some fun eyes, notice how she did add more than one to make it spooky, she also added some Halloween legs because she wants to put it on the fence in the front yard for Halloween, We can tie the paper mache spider up easily with them, and it looks cute too. She is also holding up her sign with things she learned about the black widow such as: Black Widows have an hourglass shape on their belly, they can be found in many places in the world, if they bite you seek medical care ASAP, the bite of a black widow spider can be deadly, she will ONLY play with black widows that are plastic for Halloween, and she loves the colors red and black, but they are only cool on plastic spiders. I love Vayda, she is too much! Very smart, but always has to say something corky… Wonder where she gets that – must be her father lol.
Since Mattie couldn’t manage to keep her eyes open long enough to show her paper mache bee off, I asked Vayda to help. I asked Mattie when she woke up if she wanted to, but she was just a little to cranky to do it – she gets that from her father to haha.
We also make the wings on the paper mache bee fun for Halloween, and use the same fun eyes that we used on Vayda’s spider. Vayda is holding up Mattie’s sign of what she learned about Honey Bees which is that Honey Bees do matter, they are not just scary – they actually service a purpose. One out of every three bites of food comes from a pollinated plant, no bees – means no pollination – which means no fruits or veggies for us to enjoy. She also learned how we can help support the little bees we are often frightened of, but that do so much for us, which is: plant a garden, start a hive (only if you know what you are doing), or sponsor a hive, and yes you can sponsor a hive we learned that from visiting The Orkin Ecologist. She also likes that honey bees are black and yellow, because those are her favorite colors today, lol. Yes, she changes favorite colors all the time, and is actually still trying to learn all her colors, but after today she knows yellow and black, and I seriously doubt she will forget them. OH, and who can forget how much the whole family loves honey. It’s something we always have in our home, and use all the time for everything from honey and peanut butter sandwiches to dinner recipes.
About The Orkin Ecologist
The people at Orkin understand that every little creature has it’s place. They know that the best way to control pests is to learn about them, so we are able to know what creatures are good or bad, or how their existence helps us. They have been studying bugs for 100 years, and have scientists that help make sure science is the forefront of their work. They have learned that bugs are curious creatures, which are filled with unexpected complexity, so they created The Orkin Ecologist site to celebrate science and the uniqueness of bugs.
It’s a fabulous website, my girls and I spent more time there than I thought. I figured we would jump on jot down a few things and move on, but the girls were very interested in learning. Vayda asked me after she finished with her nightly reading if she could stay up late and look up something about butterflies. Maybe it’s not a spooky bug, but she wants to learn more about bugs. I too have found it useful, and learned a few things not only about bugs, but about something I should spend more time doing. Rather than teaching my kids to be scared of bugs, maybe I should also be teaching them which bugs are dangerous, and which bugs to stay away from. The last thing I want is them trying to smash a black widow spider, and yes they do know they are poisonous, but they were not aware that there was a way to tell if the spider is a black widow, or what exactly happened if someone was to get bitten by one.
Orkin Ecologist is a fabulous site that is filled with educational resources for both novice and experienced science lovers. Swing by, and visit The Orkin Ecologist, and leave me a comment letting me know what you though.